Friday, March 4, 2011

American Idol Elimination Show – Narrowing Down the Top 24

I first published this article as American Idol Elimination Show: Narrowing Down the Top 24 on Technorati.

Last night’s show on Fox started with Seacrest reminding us that American Idol is a juggernaut, and that there were 40 million votes logged for the Idol wannabes.  I suspect the new online voting pushed that total way up.  The buzz on the show this year is hardly momentous, but I digress.   Check here for recap and photos:

I love that Steven Tyler is wearing a fuchsia puffy shirt, like he’s channeling a pop music pirate; maybe Jack Sparrow?

They start with the guys.  It’s a good thing we’ve already voted because their interview package didn’t serve some of them well. Stefano/ Brett, I’m talking to you.  Seacrest does a good job of getting down to business and shares the first results.  Scotty is IN, and Clint is NOT.  Possibly his bad attitude during Hollywood week didn’t play well with America. Jovony and Jordan are also ousted. Now, they volley to the girls and show their interview package, which is much better except that I think Lauren T. just threatened us if we voted her off?  I’m a little bit scared. 

Pia and Lauren A. are the first girls to secure Top 12 slots. Next we learn that Ta-Tynisa isn’t in and neither is Julie. Sorry Ladies.  So long to Ashton and Kendra too, but Karen gets the nod and joins Scotty, Pia, and Lauren A. in the safety seats.

Back to the guys; am I the only one getting dizzy? Jacob is in – no shock. I’m happy for him but surprised by the weird grunting noise he just made.  Naturally, Casey – who is doing his best impression of Seth Rogan tonight – made it in too.  See ya Tim!

Now to the girls; Lauren T., Thia, and Naima are brought forward.  Bye bye Naima and Lauren T.  Thia gets a safety seat.

 The guys’ turn again; Brett and Paul step up.  By the way, whose hair is bigger – Brett’s or Ashton’s?  I can’t tell, but for some reason it is much more distracting on Brett.  Paul is in, but Brett, not so much.

Haley and Rachel are up next; Haley makes the cut.   Rachel was bad last night but I do feel for her – she’s been hanging around since Season 6!  James and Stefano are the last to learn their fate. I think we all knew that James, this year’s Adam Lambert, wasn’t going anywhere. So Stefano will have to hope for a Wild Card slot.   

The judges announce their Wild Card picks.  With14 people left, the judges select 6 lucky ones to go again in a sudden death sing-off.  Then, they’ll agree on an unspecified number to move forward. What?  Maybe NOT a Top 12?

Ashton, already fully embracing her inner Diva, took on Jennifer Hudson. I don’t love her but she sounds good.  Not Jennifer Hudson-good, but strong.  The judges must have signed some sort of NDA because their comments are quizzically noncommittal.

Stefano?  He does Smoky.  It doesn’t rock my world, but J. Lo looks like she is going to cry, and he may go on.

Next Up, Kendra tried to put a sexy spin on Georgia on My Mind. The chorus was good but it seems like she should have chosen a higher key.  I’ve noticed a trend that all the aspiring Idols are trying to make the Guinness Book of World Records with the length of their last note.  How about just singing in tune?

Jovany predictably sings a Jon Secada tune. He throws some Spanish lyrics in the mix, which worked for Karen.  We’ll see.  I’m not a fan, but I have to admit he is in tune and his last note isn’t an endurance exercise, which is refreshing.  Jennifer is again acting as if the judges’ verdict is top secret.

Next they choose Naima and I’m very surprised they’ve gone with her over Lauren T., who they loved last night. She really brought it on the Hathaway tune.  Even Randy, this year’s mean judge, cracks a smile. Steven Tyler is literally reduced to tears.

OK – the last one to sing for their supper is Robbie.  I am shocked that it’s not Clint or Tim. I guess they need at least one “sensitive ballad man’ in the mix.  Pan to the safety seats where we learn that all of the Top 5 Girls have a crush on him; they’re completely bawling throughout his song.  Was that a Members’ Only Jacket? Maybe those tears were for fashion.

Finally, time for the judges’ decision...wait – great news.  The judges are still laboring over this nearly impossible task, giving us time for a sneak peak of J. Lo’s new video.  Good thing they had that clip handy just in case.  It actually features 3 Jennifers.  I’m more than a little scared of Empress Jennifer, and Fly Girl Jenny looks like she could kick my butt too, but J. Lo  wearing the silver spider web suit circa Britney 2004 looks cool.  Seacrest likes her abs.  I’ve already forgotten this song.  Its time for the judges‘ decision; Little Diva, Ashton, is the first one to go through.  Next is Stefano and surprise – they are putting ONE more through.  Hmm… that means there will be an uneven number of guys/gals and a Top 13!  Remix indeed!  Naima is the final choice.

So Season Ten’s Top 13 are six guys including Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, Paul McDonald, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk, and James Durbin. Plus, seven girls, including Pia Toscano, Karen Rodriguez, Haley Reinhart, Thia Megia, Lauren Alaina, Naima Adedapo, and Ashton Jones.  I thought this was the year of the boys?

With the exception of Stefano instead of Clint / Tim, I think they got it right.  I would have preferred to see Lauren T. go over Ashton, but I get it.  Naima ss the true wild card, both in terms of being Number 13, and by being the most quirky and unpredictable.  I don’t know about “Best Season Ever”, but it seems comparable to other years in talent, and I admit that I look forward to watching it all go down over the next 11 weeks or so.   Darn, we didn’t get a goofy Glee-inspired Group number., but thankfully, we can look forward to next week!

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